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Home :: Archive :: 1992 :: July ::
More on the Sonnets (Continued)
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 187.  Thursday, 30 July 199
From: 		Lars Engle <
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Date: 		Thursday, July 30, 1992, 11:30:35 CST
Subject: RE: More on the Sonnets
Comment: 	RE:SHK 3.0186  RE: More on the Sonnets
>I doubt the Bard had any notion at all about teasing us, because we're
>stealing a base to presume he intended the publication of the Sonnets at all.
>He didn't participate in the 1609 registering or imprinting, and they seem to
>have quickly disappeared as if suppressed.  It has been suggested that the
>nature of the relationships described was much more - peculiar, and the
>identities of the characters much better known, at the time of publication
>than later became the case, and so the Sonnets were of the nature perhaps more
>of the tabloid than the purely poetic...
As Edward Pechter did a few weeks ago, let me refer you to Don Foster's 1987
PMLA article which persuaded me that there was nothing all that anomalous
about the circumstances of publication of the 1609 quarto.  Of course, Foster
himself has offered the most impressive recent candidate for an identity for
the young man in his edition of *Elegy by W.S.*, and the further discussion of
Will Peters at the MLA session "Interrogating Shakespeare's Sonnets" in
1990.  I'm not trying to say we should ignore identities when they present
themselves, I'm simply suggesting that the sonnets seem to me to focus
persistently on issues of evaluation.
| Lars Engle                     |                         |
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